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Author Topic: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades  (Read 204 times)

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Offline iskater13

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Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« on: July 31, 2017, 11:48:21 AM »
Hello!
I have a question I was hoping to get some help with.
I recently purchased a pair of Jackson Freestyles that come with a pre-mounted Aspire blade.
I have skated in them 3 times now and yesterday after my practice I noticed that the right blade hollow was covered in tiny spots. They seem to be rust (I had another low level blade that looked the same way before it was completely rusted).
My question is: is there something I could do to get the rust off (the left blade has less spots than the right one) or am I better off buying a higher quality blade (I was considering the Matrix Legacy). I am an adult so my feet will not be growing and I could probably use the Legacy with the next pair of skates I get. The fitter told me the Freestyles would not last more than a year but did not want to overboot me.
I should have expected this with the lower quality blade but I figured my post practice drying routine would work like it did with my Eclipse Cosmos blades I had on my Riedell skates. Those blades never gave me any problems.

Thank you for the help in advance!

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2017, 12:11:46 PM »
I had something similar happen with my Wilson Revolution blades.  After talking to a coach and a skate fitter, I handle these blades differently now. 

First, I bought a second pair of soakers.  I skate almost every day, sometimes changing my skates/shoes 2-3 times in one day. 
When I remove the soakers, I turn them inside out, so they dry between uses.  Then, I put the other pair on after skating.
This is like turning a mattress, lol: turning them inside out gives me four rotations before re-using the same side of the soakers.  Silly, but it works.

Second, I wipe the snow from my blades before putting on the hard guards.  It's awkward and my gloves are wearing out, but it keeps the guards clean and prevents water from sitting on the blade.

Third, I dry the blades twice.  I take the guards off, wipe boots&blades with my chamois, then stand them up to warm up for a while.  (Usually, I visit the bathroom.)
Come back, dry the boots&blades again and put the dry soakers on the blades before putting them in my skate bag.

Finally, I don't close my skate bag.  My skates aren't stinky (lucky, I know) so leaving it open lets air circulate and prevents rusting.  While I do keep my skates in the back of my hatchback car, I park in a climate-controlled garage or take the skates inside if needed.  (In a pinch, I've put them inside a cooler to stop the extreme temps in the car.)

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2017, 12:14:36 PM »
The Aspire blade is made of metal that does rust more easily than the Eclipse Cosmos blade.  Eclipse blades are made of carbon steel and heavily chromed, mainly for appearance, but also to prevent rusting.  You might want to buy a WD-40 stick and wipe it on the blades.  It'll muck up your soakers, but it will stop rust.

https://www.amazon.com/WD-40-Lubricant-Crayons-Sticker-Protect/dp/B00CQRC80A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1501521252&sr=8-3&keywords=wd+40+no+mess+pen

What level of skating are you doing now?  That would be a more-important reason to upgrade a blade than fear of rust.  (No insult intended.)
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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2017, 12:17:13 PM »
Your first sharpening will remove the rust. If it's just light surface rust, even the first few yards into a skating session will also remove it.

Stainless steel blades will resist rust better, but even regular high-carbon steel that is prone to rust can be used without problem - but it depends on handling, storage and ambient conditions. For example, I've found that storing them in soakers is asking for rust - especially if the soakers are dirty. Storing them blade-down on a carpeted floor long-term can also cause problems.
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Offline iskater13

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2017, 12:26:26 PM »
The Aspire blade is made of metal that does rust more easily than the Eclipse Cosmos blade.  Eclipse blades are made of carbon steel and heavily chromed, mainly for appearance, but also to prevent rusting.  You might want to buy a WD-40 stick and wipe it on the blades.  It'll muck up your soakers, but it will stop rust.

https://www.amazon.com/WD-40-Lubricant-Crayons-Sticker-Protect/dp/B00CQRC80A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1501521252&sr=8-3&keywords=wd+40+no+mess+pen

What level of skating are you doing now?  That would be a more-important reason to upgrade a blade than fear of rust.  (No insult intended.)


Thank you for both of your responses.
I do have an extra pair of soakers so I will put those into use as you suggested.
I am working on single jumps and one foot spins right now and preparing for my first moves and freeskate tests.

Offline iskater13

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2017, 12:27:19 PM »
Your first sharpening will remove the rust. If it's just light surface rust, even the first few yards into a skating session will also remove it.

Stainless steel blades will resist rust better, but even regular high-carbon steel that is prone to rust can be used without problem - but it depends on handling, storage and ambient conditions. For example, I've found that storing them in soakers is asking for rust - especially if the soakers are dirty. Storing them blade-down on a carpeted floor long-term can also cause problems.


Thank you for your response!
How would you recommend storing them for better blade life and less rust?

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2017, 12:29:24 PM »

Thank you for both of your responses.
I do have an extra pair of soakers so I will put those into use as you suggested.
I am working on single jumps and one foot spins right now and preparing for my first moves and freeskate tests.

That level is a valid reason to move up in blades.  If you had said you were working on crossovers, I would say hold off until you get new boots, but changing blades might make spins and moves easier.
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Offline iskater13

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2017, 12:52:17 PM »
That level is a valid reason to move up in blades.  If you had said you were working on crossovers, I would say hold off until you get new boots, but changing blades might make spins and moves easier.

I really appreciate your help! I will be going to a new rink tomorrow where I joined the skating club.
They have a pro shop on site and I have heated great things about the gentleman who owns the shop.
I will pop in and ask what he can do for me, as well as the advice of my new coach with the club!

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2017, 02:17:24 PM »
The Aspire blade is made of metal that does rust more easily than the Eclipse Cosmos blade.  Eclipse blades are made of carbon steel and heavily chromed, mainly for appearance, but also to prevent rusting.  You might want to buy a WD-40 stick and wipe it on the blades.  It'll muck up your soakers, but it will stop rust.

https://www.amazon.com/WD-40-Lubricant-Crayons-Sticker-Protect/dp/B00CQRC80A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1501521252&sr=8-3&keywords=wd+40+no+mess+pen

What level of skating are you doing now?  That would be a more-important reason to upgrade a blade than fear of rust.  (No insult intended.)
Both the Aspire and the Cosmos are fabricated from chrome-plated carbon steel.  Note that the chrome plating is removed along both sides of the blade near the edges (the regions with no plating is called the chrome relief; these regions are clearly visible).  There is of course no chrome plating in the hollow of the blade.  The Eclipse website states that the Cosmos is fabricated from 1075 carbon steel; the Ultima website provides no further details on the Aspire.  Tendency to rust does vary some with the particular carbon steel alloy.  But note that a higher tendency to rust does not necessarily indicate a lower-grade steel.  In fact, high-grade machine shop tools fabricated from high-carbon steel tend to rust easily and are often wiped down with an oily rag.

Offline iskater13

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2017, 02:25:30 PM »
Both the Aspire and the Cosmos are fabricated from chrome-plated carbon steel.  Note that the chrome plating is removed along both sides of the blade near the edges (the regions with no plating is called the chrome relief; these regions are clearly visible).  There is of course no chrome plating in the hollow of the blade.  The Eclipse website states that the Cosmos is fabricated from 1075 carbon steel; the Ultima website provides no further details on the Aspire.  Tendency to rust does vary some with the particular carbon steel alloy.  But note that a higher tendency to rust does not necessarily indicate a lower-grade steel.  In fact, high-grade machine shop tools fabricated from high-carbon steel tend to rust easily and are often wiped down with an oily rag.

Thank you for your response! I appreciate the information!
I think I will start by having them sharpened to see if the rust from the hollow can be removed. There is no rust on the edges, just in the hollow. It is worse on the right blade.
I would rather wait to buy new blades when these skates break down and I need new ones.
Hopefully skating again and a sharpening will help with the rust!

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2017, 02:33:01 PM »
I had something similar happen with my Wilson Revolution blades.  After talking to a coach and a skate fitter, I handle these blades differently now. 

Considering the cost of the Revolutions, that must have been an unpleasant surprise!

To iskater13:

If you do a careful drying, like you say, perhaps you just keep your blades in a high humidity environment, and it isn't enough. Or maybe they had rust when you bought them?

Not only should you leave the bag open, if you use a bag (or box) at all, but do not put anything wet - including the towel you dry it with - in the same bag.

All the suggestions made will help, but if that's not enough, oil (or grease) the blade after you dry it. That's extreme, but it does help, a lot. A lot of mechanics oil or grease their steel tools on a regular basis. You don't need a lot of oil - just a very thin coat.

Yes, Aspires are pretty low level for jumps. But a higher level high carbon steel blade can rust at least as easily, maybe more easily. So when you replace the Aspires (as I'm sure your coach will advise), treat the next ones even better. Almost anything else will be high carbon steel. Most of the surface will be plated with something to retard rust, as tstop4me mentions, but, as he says, the lower 1/4" - 3/8" will not be, so it can rust.

The highest level Ultima Matrix or Paramount blades (expensive!) are stainless steel. But stainless can rust too. I dry my stainless blades, then when I get to my car, I take off the blade guards, and let the blades air off in the open. BTW, if I am going to use them again within a few days, I don't oil stainless steel blades - but if I kept them in an extremely high humidity environment, I might. Even titanium can rust a little.

Rust spreads, like cancer - so it is a good idea to remove it.

Rust is evil!  ::>)

P.S. It doesn't save you money to keep the aspires if you waste it on buying many private lessons and extra ice time that don't help because of lower level blades - so you might want to ask to your coach if it is worth it.

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2017, 02:48:46 PM »
For many years, I skated on Wilson Coronation Ace, a traditional chrome-plated carbon steel blade.  I also use multiple wipes and two soakers; never had rust problems.  At the rink, after I take off the skates, I use one cloth to wipe off the bulk of the slush and water.  I then use a second cloth for a more thorough drying of blades and boots.  I put on a first pair of soakers, and put the skates in an open bag to promote drying during the trip home.  Note that since the blades are still cold, moisture will tend to continue to condense on them (depending on the dew point of the ambient air).  At home, I remove the first pair of soakers, use a third cloth to wipe off residual moisture from the blades and boots, and put on a second pair of soakers.  I leave the skates on a wooden floor until my next session.  If you need to store the skates for an extended period (especially in a humid environment), wipe the unplated areas of the blade with an oily rag (motor oil, mineral oil, general purpose household or machine oil will do; don't use cooking oil); you can use an old soaker to keep the oil from smearing onto the floor or other surfaces.  But I've had several old pairs of Coronation Aces stashed in a bedroom closet with no oil film for >10 yrs without visible rust; but the closet is used regularly so there is good air circulation and AC in the summer.

If you plan to upgrade to an intermediate blade, and want to avoid rust at all under normal skating and storage conditions, get blades fabricated from high-carbon stainless steel.  There are several models on the market now.  I'm currently on the Eclipse Aurora, which I reviewed here:

http://skatingforums.com/index.php?topic=6851.0.




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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2017, 02:52:50 PM »
Thank you for your response! I appreciate the information!
I think I will start by having them sharpened to see if the rust from the hollow can be removed. There is no rust on the edges, just in the hollow. It is worse on the right blade.
I would rather wait to buy new blades when these skates break down and I need new ones.
Hopefully skating again and a sharpening will help with the rust!
Oh yeah, unless you stashed them wet for a long time, the rust should be superficial and will be ground away with the next sharpening.  If the edges are OK, that's a good sign.  The hollow is of secondary importance.

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2017, 02:56:02 PM »
Just curious, why wouldn't cooking oil work?

(I assume you mention the A/C because it also keeps down humidity.)

Offline iskater13

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2017, 03:05:25 PM »
Considering the cost of the Revolutions, that must have been an unpleasant surprise!

To iskater13:

If you do a careful drying, like you say, perhaps you just keep your blades in a high humidity environment, and it isn't enough. Or maybe they had rust when you bought them?

Not only should you leave the bag open, if you use a bag (or box) at all, but do not put anything wet - including the towel you dry it with - in the same bag.

All the suggestions made will help, but if that's not enough, oil (or grease) the blade after you dry it. That's extreme, but it does help, a lot. A lot of mechanics oil or grease their steel tools on a regular basis. You don't need a lot of oil - just a very thin coat.

Yes, Aspires are pretty low level for jumps. But a higher level high carbon steel blade can rust at least as easily, maybe more easily. So when you replace the Aspires (as I'm sure your coach will advise), treat the next ones even better. Almost anything else will be high carbon steel. Most of the surface will be plated with something to retard rust, as tstop4me mentions, but, as he says, the lower 1/4" - 3/8" will not be, so it can rust.

The highest level Ultima Matrix or Paramount blades (expensive!) are stainless steel. But stainless can rust too. I dry my stainless blades, then when I get to my car, I take off the blade guards, and let the blades air off in the open. BTW, if I am going to use them again within a few days, I don't oil stainless steel blades - but if I kept them in an extremely high humidity environment, I might. Even titanium can rust a little.

Rust spreads, like cancer - so it is a good idea to remove it.

Rust is evil!  ::>)

P.S. It doesn't save you money to keep the aspires if you waste it on buying many private lessons and extra ice time that don't help because of lower level blades - so you might want to ask to your coach if it is worth it.

Thank you for your response!
I am very diligent on drying my blades after a session which is why I panicked when I noticed the rust.
I am trying to see if I can get them sharpened tomorrow, the pro shop at the rink is closed today sadly.
I will also ask my coach to see what she recommends as far as blades go. The fitter was not too keen on the Aspire but told me to use them for the time being and see how they worked for me.
I agree with you, I would rather pay the money for the blades once and save on lessons and ice time.
Thank you again, it is very much appreciated!

Offline iskater13

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2017, 03:08:46 PM »
For many years, I skated on Wilson Coronation Ace, a traditional chrome-plated carbon steel blade.  I also use multiple wipes and two soakers; never had rust problems.  At the rink, after I take off the skates, I use one cloth to wipe off the bulk of the slush and water.  I then use a second cloth for a more thorough drying of blades and boots.  I put on a first pair of soakers, and put the skates in an open bag to promote drying during the trip home.  Note that since the blades are still cold, moisture will tend to continue to condense on them (depending on the dew point of the ambient air).  At home, I remove the first pair of soakers, use a third cloth to wipe off residual moisture from the blades and boots, and put on a second pair of soakers.  I leave the skates on a wooden floor until my next session.  If you need to store the skates for an extended period (especially in a humid environment), wipe the unplated areas of the blade with an oily rag (motor oil, mineral oil, general purpose household or machine oil will do; don't use cooking oil); you can use an old soaker to keep the oil from smearing onto the floor or other surfaces.  But I've had several old pairs of Coronation Aces stashed in a bedroom closet with no oil film for >10 yrs without visible rust; but the closet is used regularly so there is good air circulation and AC in the summer.

If you plan to upgrade to an intermediate blade, and want to avoid rust at all under normal skating and storage conditions, get blades fabricated from high-carbon stainless steel.  There are several models on the market now.  I'm currently on the Eclipse Aurora, which I reviewed here:

http://skatingforums.com/index.php?topic=6851.0.

Thank you for the response!
I am very diligent about drying my blades and skates after a session. I wipe them once with a dry rag and then a second time after I put my regular shoes on and some condensation appears. Then I put my soakers on for the drive home. I have a Transpak Ice so the skates air out in the car. Once I am home I dry them off again and put soakers back on and leave the zippers of the bag open until I go back to the rink.
I will apply some oil after the sharpening and see if that helps. I will also ask my coach her recommendations of different blades.

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2017, 03:26:22 PM »
Just curious, why wouldn't cooking oil work?

(I assume you mention the A/C because it also keeps down humidity.)
Cooking oil is OK for short term.  For long term, it can breed mold. 

Yes, I mentioned A/C because of humidity control.  If I were to stash blades in a basement, a garage, or a closet that was rarely used, I would apply a film of oil to the blades for sure.

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2017, 09:25:59 PM »
Both the Aspire and the Cosmos are fabricated from chrome-plated carbon steel.  Note that the chrome plating is removed along both sides of the blade near the edges (the regions with no plating is called the chrome relief; these regions are clearly visible).  There is of course no chrome plating in the hollow of the blade.  The Eclipse website states that the Cosmos is fabricated from 1075 carbon steel; the Ultima website provides no further details on the Aspire.  Tendency to rust does vary some with the particular carbon steel alloy.  But note that a higher tendency to rust does not necessarily indicate a lower-grade steel.  In fact, high-grade machine shop tools fabricated from high-carbon steel tend to rust easily and are often wiped down with an oily rag.

The Jackson / Ultima website just mentions chrome plating on the Aspire.  The brochure I picked up at the PSA Conference doesn't mention the metal content, either.  Anecdotally, skaters at our rink with Aspire blades have a blackened steel reveal line, whereas those wearing the Cosmos do not.  (All wear guards and dry/put away their skates properly.)  That's why I believe the metal content is the issue.
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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2017, 06:42:06 AM »
I have a longish journey to the rink, over an hour. I dont dry my blades until I get to the car, around 10 minutes after I am off the ice. This is because whether it is winter or summer, I find that getting into a very hot or very cold car compared to the rink temperature causes a lot more condensation, however well I dry them in the rink. I dry them thoroughly when I reach the car, put dry soakers on, and leave them on the car seat to further air.

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2017, 11:10:41 AM »
If the rust is thick enough to bother you, you can also try petroleum jelly and a Scotch Brite abrasive cleaning pad. But if it's just a few spots, skating should remove it.

I also apply petroleum jelly on the blades if I intend to keep them unused for a long time. It works wonders.

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2017, 06:04:51 PM »
Like FigureSpins I also leave my bag open, but I also put a dehumidifier pack in the bag.

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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2017, 10:57:12 PM »
Thank you for all the additional suggestions everyone! I had a lesson today and it seems that skating has removed most of the tiny spots in the hollows! I'm still planning on getting them sharpened once I can make it to the pro shop.


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Re: Possible Rust on Ultima Aspire Blades
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2017, 11:06:29 PM »
If tstop4me is right, and water condensation on the still-cold blades, even if dried, is an issue, which makes sense, I think putting oil on them would fix the problem - it should create a "vapor barrier".

OTOH, what I do, drying the blades, then leaving the blades uncovered in the car, will also fix the problem - especially in the summer. Of course, I should still take the boots out of the car once I get home - because boots may re-heat-mold to the wrong shape if they get too hot.

I wonder why MK and Wilson upper level blades don't use a "high carbon stainless steel", like the Ultima Matrix series, and, I think, Paramount blades do, instead of just "high carbon steel". While stainless isn't perfect, it reduces the rust problems significantly, and my own experience is that the edges last longer - though in fairness, the highest level non-stainless blades I use were Wilson Coronation Ace - only an intermediate level blade.

The stainless alloys Ultima Matrix uses reach a Rockwell hardness of about 60 at the edge - which, if my source is correct, is also about what the edges of the high end "high carbon steel" blades made by MK and Wilson are hardened to. (In theory non-stainless steels can be hardened more, but presumably it would become too brittle, so they don't.) Is using stainless alloys a significant fraction of the cost, or is it harder to use at the factory?

(I get why Ultima only uses stainless in the Matrix line - it gives people an extra reason, on top of lower weight, to go to that high priced line instead of the cheaper lines.)

BTW, I am not suggesting the o.p. should go to the extra expense of getting Matrix line blades - they cost a lot more, and the o.p. doesn't yet know if he/she likes a given intermediate or upper level blade shape. As do the Eclipse titanium line blades, which I assume are also more rust resistant. I only bought Matrix because the older Matrix I model had interchangeable runners, a feature i liked - and I bought enough runners to last the rest of my life, so I have no reason to change.

However, in this tstop4me indicates that at least one Eclipse intermediate blade is also stainless...